After working in the editorial department for nearly 20 years, I recently left New Jersey Jewish News.
I started as copy editor at MetroWest Jewish News, serving successively as arts editor, associate editor, managing editor, and — with the departure of editor-in-chief Andrew Silow-Carroll last winter — executive editor during the months The Jewish Week prepared to take over publication.
Throughout the past two decades I felt highly privileged to be part of an extraordinary team, creating a publication that since its establishment in 1947 has served as the honest voice of and to the Jewish community.
What I most appreciated was working alongside the dedicated individuals whose names appeared with mine on the masthead, those from years past and those who were on the job until September.
Of those who worked up to the last weeks of the “old” NJJN, most were on the job for more than 10 years. Throughout the years, as we put out first one, then five editions, the work was carried out at times under brutal schedules. When holidays falling during the week necessitated multiple closings or in the wake of man-made catastrophes like the 9/11 terrorist attack and natural disasters like Superstorm Sandy, we always succeeded in meeting our deadline.
We came to recognize the extraordinary makeup of our team. Each person embodied the ideal of “pulling together.” The reporters, editors, designers, production staff, and the advertising representatives and managers on the business side of the operation gave their all unstintingly. Fortunately, some remain, still applying their talents to the paper.
As a member of the community we served, I was doubly gratified that the paper’s mission was carried out through the publication of content that was enlightening, enriching, at times provocative, and, of course, newsworthy.
That included life-cycle announcements and developments in local institutions and synagogues; coverage of the closer and wider world of culture and the arts; reporting on trends and initiatives in religious expression and practice; and opinion pieces and commentary that presented a range of (not universally welcome) views.
The ultimate goal — which I believe NJJN has unfailingly met — was to strengthen the community the paper served with journalistic integrity and editorial and design excellence.
Throughout my 20 years on the Aidekman campus, it was a pleasure coming to work each morning, even when facing challenges and daunting changes, knowing that the support from a corps of committed coworkers was always there.
Personally, I also derived enormous fulfillment and pleasure from the fruitful relationships — many of which developed into friendships — I formed with dozens of individuals throughout New Jersey. I thank them for allowing me to help further their efforts to enhance Jewish life through a wealth of educational, cultural, and religious activities and programs.
Many thanks to those who sent heartfelt messages upon my departure; your good wishes certainly helped seal my satisfaction at how I spent the last 20 years.
The new team at the helm of NJJN is committed to carrying on the legacy of this valued institution; I wish them every success and urge readers of all the NJJN editions to continue to support and contribute to a strong future for our Jewish community newspaper.
Abby Meth Kanter